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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3351, Saturday, November 15, 2008, Editor: Mark
Earnestness, not perfection, is a precondition to self-realization. Virtues and powers come with realization, not before.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels
D: What is the reason for the absence of mental strength?
M: The means that make one qualified for enquiry are meditation, yoga, etc. One should gain proficiency in these through graded practice, and thus secure a stream of mental modes that is natural and helpful. When the mind that has in this manner become ripe, listens to the present enquiry, it will at once realize its true nature which is the Self, and remain in perfect peace, without deviating from that state. To a mind which has not become ripe, immediate realization and peace are hard to gain through listening to enquiry. Yet, if one practices the means for mind-control for some time, peace of mind can be obtained eventually.
- Ramana Maharshi, excerpt from Self-Enquiry (Vicharasangraham) Of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
21. Earnestness is the path of immortality (Nirvāna), thoughtlessness the path of death. Those who are in earnest do not die, those who are thoughtless are as if dead already.
22. Those who are advanced in earnestness, having understood this clearly, delight in earnestness, and rejoice in the knowledge of the Ariyas (the elect).
23. These wise people, meditative, steady, always possessed of strong powers, attain to Nirvāna, the highest happiness.
24. If an earnest person has roused himself, if he is not forgetful, if his deeds are pure, if he acts with consideration, if he restrains himself, and lives according to law,--then his glory will increase.
25. By rousing himself, by earnestness, by restraint and control, the wise man may make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm.
26. Fools follow after vanity, men of evil wisdom. The wise man keeps earnestness as his best jewel.
27. Follow not after vanity, nor after the enjoyment of love and lust! He who is earnest and meditative, obtains ample joy.
28. When the learned man drives away vanity by earnestness, he, the wise, climbing the terraced heights of wisdom, looks down upon the fools, serene he looks upon the toiling crowd, as one that stands on a mountain looks down upon them that stand upon the plain.
29. Earnest among the thoughtless, awake among the sleepers, the wise man advances like a racer, leaving behind the hack.
30. By earnestness did Maghavan (Indra) rise to the lordship of the gods. People praise earnestness; thoughtlessness is always blamed.
31. A Bhikshu (mendicant) who delights in earnestness, who looks with fear on thoughtlessness,
32. A Bhikshu (mendicant) who delights in reflection, who looks with fear on thoughtlessness, cannot fall away (from his perfect state)--he is close upon Nirvāna.
- Chapter II of The Dhammapada
So our first job is to undo negative thinking in order to get positive enough so that we may go in the right direction. Then, we must drop all thinking, both negative and positive thinking. When that happens, we discover that we are in the realm of knowingness, of omniscience, we have no need to think as everything is known and we are all joyous and totally free. Knowing everything, there is nothing to think about!
Thinking is just our way of relating things to other things, connecting things together. But knowing everything, we know the unity, the oneness and there's no need to relate things by thought. Thereby, we are free, free of all concepts of separation and limitation. This leaves us free to use a mind should we want to communicate with the apparency of the world.
The process of going within is a process of looking within and discovering that the mind is nothing but thoughts, and the thoughts are nothing but concepts of limitation. When we quiet the mind by letting go of these thoughts, we see this infinite Being that we are. This takes away the clouds covering this infinite Being and leaves us totally free.
- Lester Levenson
If you do not seek the great way to leave the path of delusion, even if you are intelligent and talented you are not great. A hundred years is like a spark, a lifetime is like a bubble. If you only crave material gain and prominence, without considering the deterioration of your body, I ask you, even if you accumulate a mountain of gold can you buy off impermanence?
- Chang Po-Tuan
Katagiri Roshi and Suzuki Roshi did not encourage us to try and attain enlightenment; rather, they encouraged us to express enlightenment.
- Les Kaye
You are an unlimited Being. You always were and you always will be. You have no choice in that. Your only choice is to identify with your unlimited Beingness, or to identify with your self imposed limitations.
- Lester Levenson
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